Thursday 16 July 2015

The search for the perfect red pout

I am a big, big fan of lipstick and have made more of an effort to wear it more often. Who says you can't try to look your best every day? Why just save it up for 'special' occasions? I'm sure Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn famously said something about how we should all feel special every day and Dita Von Teese has one or two things to say about this too.


I love red lippie in particular but know that some people are really scared of wearing it. Yes, it's bold but it's oh so beautiful and there's so many shades out there that everyone can find the perfect red pout for them.

My Sister-in-Law's wedding a few weeks ago had a fifties twist for us bridesmaids in particular so I was determined to find the perfect red lipstick to help me with the glamorous, pin-up inspired look. I had a few in my collection already but also tried some new contenders; I wanted the right shade and one that would last all day, with minimum worry over whether it was fading.

And I thought I would share the results of my search with you.


The key criteria I have judged each lippie on are as follows, with each point marked out of five:

* Shade - how this looks when worn and what kind of red it is

* Application & feel - how easy it is to apply and how it feels to wear

* Longevity - its staying power

* Value - overall, whether it's worth the price tag for the look it offers

Obviously, there are hundreds of reds out there, but I have selected the following from the main high street brands and some new or popular products to try to see if they really can give you a good red pout.

So, here's my run down of the different brands, lipstick types and shades I have been searching for in my quest for the perfect red pout. It's taken time and I found the right red for my Sister-in-Law's wedding, which I will also reveal, as well as several shades I'll look forward to wearing every day and others for when I want a stronger look.


This is a lipstick that applies like a gloss but with a matt finish, a lipstick look and a lightweight feel. It glides on well but feels a bit wet at first and I found I had to layer the colour a little to get the look I wanted.

* Shade - this wasn't as rich a red as I was expecting, based on how it looks before application. It has an orange hue and needs to be built up a little to get a full colour effect. I like the look but it's not bold enough for this occasion. 2/5

* Application & feel - it glides onto your lips, feels a bit wet at first but once it dries, it doesn't feel thick or cakey. Overall, this was one of the best things about this product. 4/5

* Longevity - From the texture on application, I didn't think this would last long - you certainly don't notice you're wearing it. However, even after eating and drinking, the majority of the colour on the lip stayed for a few hours. 3/5

* Value - Although it wasn't as red as I wanted, I do like the shade and think it's a nice feeling lipstick that's good for the price. 3/5

Total: 12/20

* Shade - I really liked this shade. It's very wearable and is softer than some reds too. Perhaps too soft for a bolder look like I was going for. 3/5

* Application & feel - this lipstick gives very good coverage and feels comfortable to wear. 4/5

* Longevity - I wasn't convinced this would have staying power but it really does fix to your lips and last a long time. I wore for several hours, ate and drank, and my lips still held most of the colour. Very pleased, although think 14 hours' worth of wear is a push. 4/5

* Value - Although it wasn't as red as I wanted, I do like the shade and think it's a nice feeling lipstick that's good for the price. 3/5

Total: 14/20

* Shade - This is a vibrant shade that's really beautiful, almost a pink/coral toned red. Very flattering and a good choice for people who may be a little scared of red lipstick at first, or for the summer months. 5/5

* Application & feel - this gives great coverage and solid colour with ease. Just what you'd expect from a lipstick and goes to show how Rimmel really have affordable lippie nailed, from the days of my teens wearing Heather Shimmer to today. 4/5

* Longevity - For the price and a 'standard' lipstick that doesn't make any bold claims other than 'lasting', the colour stays true for several hours and I find it doesn't cake or dry my lips too much either. 3/5

* Value - Great price for a great shade, definitely worth having for regular wear. 5/5

Total: 17/20

* Shade - I love, love this shade! It's rich, it seems to glisten (like a ruby!) and it's very complimentary too. 5/5

* Application & feel - feels nice to wear. It applies as you'd expect and sinks into your lips to give good colour but still maintains a smooth, moist appearance. Make sure you use a lip lock liner to help minimise colour bleed (as you should with any red but found particularly important with this lipstick). 3/5

* Longevity - It doesn't claim to last for ages but the colour does hold true and fades evenly. 3/5

* Value - This shade is quite special in my opinion and the price good too, even if it won't last as long as some other products I've tested. 3/5

Total: 15/20


* Shade -  This collection has five shades based on different famous women and I chose Julianne as she has red hair and pale skin so I thought that this would be a good choice. And it was. Again, this is a proper red, similar to the previous product, and looked great on. 4/5

* Application & feel -  This does feel a little dry and more like a long wearing liquid to matt product. 2/5

* Longevity - It does bleed after some time if you haven't lined your lips / used a lip lock liner. It stays bold for a couple of hours but then fades. 2/5

* Value - This is a nice, flattering shade that does have some staying power. 3/5

Total: 11/20

* Shade - this gives you a lovely, vibrant cherry red look that's bold and perfect for what I was looking for in particular... almost! As it's wet to dry, you can build the colour if needed. 4/5

* Application & feel - I really liked the applicator on this as it felt very precise and I could define quite a sharp cupids bow. It glides on and dries quickly without feeling tight and the balm at the other end was another plus point for me. It's soft and gives a nice sheen to the colour. 4/5

* Longevity - Good solid colour that withstands eating and drinking, lasting all day. You will have some colour disappear in the middle of your lips but this is almost the best I have tried for length of wear. 5/5

* Value - It does cost a bit more than some of the others but the length of wear, application and balm all justify this for me. 5/5


Which lipstick hit the mark for my Sister-in-Law's wedding, to go with our fifties themed bridesmaid dresses and look? Well, I tried all of the lipsticks above and liked them all and loved a couple in particular, but I hadn't quite found the right combo of the shade I wanted and the wear I needed.

Until this:


The claim on this is it will last 16 hours. Having tested it then worn it for the wedding, I can say that 16 hours is quite a push, unless you decide not to eat or drink, BUT it does hold for a long time. So much so, if you aren't careful applying it, you may find it very difficult to remove errors. This stuff sticks!

At the same time, it doesn't feel uncomfortable, as long as you apply it in a thin layer then add more if needed, rather than slathering it on.

It dries quickly and gives a beautiful, rich red shade that was perfect for the look I wanted; a very true red. The gloss on the other end of the lipstick then adds a real high shine finish to really make your lips stand out - not one for just any old day!

I did have to touch up during the day, mainly in the middle of my lips where colour had come away, but not a great deal and it was a relief to know my lipstick was in place and I didn't have to bother with it so much.


The one for every day: In my experience, you can't beat No7 for a great range of lipsticks to suit all skin tones, and in all shades, at a great price, particularly the Moisture Drench products. They also last a long time, especially the bolder shades, without too much dryness.

When it comes to reds, my top picks are Hot Paprika and Autumn Truffle, plus Rosy Ribbon for a pinky hue, but check out their colour match service to be sure of the right shade for you.

The one for longevity: Lime Crime has been a blogger favourite for a while and for good reason; this lip stain / gloss packs a real colour punch and lasts... and lasts. My Sister-in-Law wore this on her wedding day and it looks fantastic, but with a few touch ups during the day, like any lipstick, it did start to cake a little so you may still need to wipe off and start again if you are wearing the whole day through.

It's a pricey option but Lime Crime seems to be worth the hype from what I've seen, if you find a shade that you love.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and if there's an amazing red out there that you recommend, please do share below.


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